I Ate the Choomongous and I'm Still Alive Today
Gavin Cleaver Yes, the picture is in portrait. No, I'm not very good.
Every year, the Rangers roll out a whole bunch of stuff designed specifically to clog your arteries. It's their public service, as a socially-minded ballclub, to cut down on the population explosion in DFW by culling those stupid enough to eat a two-foot sandwich.
I am one of those people. Yet somehow, I live. This is the story of my folly.
On an evening that was more ice hockey weather than baseball weather, our group bounded towards Rangers Ballpark (nope, that's its name) in the hope we might see the Rangers score more than one run. Colby Lewis was returning, the Mariners aren't very good, it was dinner time. All of these things combined to give us both hope and a desire to eat outlandish food, which was a by-product of the hope we were feeling.
After one scoreless half-inning in which Colby Lewis looked like the second coming of Nolan Ryan, only slower, one of our group sloped off to get "food." He returned with two feet of asian spicy beef and bacon on a stick. Such are the advantages of attending sporting events with Americans. In the UK, at best, you might get a savory pie containing organs that wouldn't make it through US customs, and beef drink. No, beef drink is a real thing. I'm not making that up.
The Choomongous, the two-foot sandwich of legend, is 24 inches of asian spiced beef, bulgogi style, with shredded cabbage and a spicy mayonnaise. I would guess the aim was to make it Korean, as its namesake, King of Getting Walked Shin-Soo Choo, is Korean. The actual Beef Delivery Mechanism (patent pending) is small chunks rather than longer strips.
After a brief distraction with the bacon on a stick, which in reality is more of a pork chop on a stick not designed to hold the weight of an inch-thick piece of pig, the four of us set about the Choomonogous. Well, three of us. My wife, who is sensible, had brought a caesar salad to the ballpark in an attempt to flout everything that is great about America's pastime. If there was any justice the caesar salad would have been confiscated upon entry, but I suppose the bag-checkers had never seen a salad at a ballpark before.
Anyway. Balanced across three people, we each attacked separate parts. I assumed we would be foiled by soggy bread, so often the enemy of the moist sandwich, but we were in luck. This structure was firm enough to hold back the tide. Whether that's because the walls of said sandwich were too thick is debatable, but it held its shape so well that sometimes the bread just refused to give. I wouldn't want to get the monstrous creation out of its bespoke handles-equipped presentation box and go at it without cutlery, but its togetherness was impressive.
The beef, also, was not terrible. While not exactly matching up to the finest things Korean restaurants around Dallas have delivered (it was a bit tough), it was appreciably tasty, and definitely felt less filthy than the other two-foot long competitor, the dreaded Boomstick. I don't want to imagine the parts of an animal that go into 24 inches of hot dog sausage.
Combined with the spicy mayonnaise and the thing that is almost a salad perched on top, the Choomongous surely jumps straight to the top of delicious things served at the Ballpark, by virtue of being food that could imaginably (if it were somewhat smaller) be served outside a baseball stadium to sober people. The three of us barely managed the whole thing, though. That's a lot of bread and beef.
The rest of the game was not so delightful, even when viewed from a meat and bread coma of sorts. The Rangers conspired to somehow lose 7-1 to the Mariners, and by the 7th the crowd had resorted to all imitating seagulls, I think because one of the Mariners players had a name that sounds a bit like "seagull." Nevertheless, if you take a group to the ballpark, the Choomongous is actually worth it, and not just entirely for novelty reasons. It might be a curse on Choo, though, who hit into a double play just as we were hitting the halfway point on his sandwich.